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10-15-2012, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ORYX View Post
While it is too early to panic, it would be foolish not to be at the least a little worried.

Maybe what they need is to be embarrassed on home ice and have their own fans boo in discontent for them to realize that what they are playing isnt tolerated in Kitchener.

I was critical of the Murphy selection of captain when he was far he has shown nothing to prove me wrong (which is the hope).

8 gp, 0 Goals, 1 Assist, team worst -7 and a team worst 6 Minor penalties.....He is trying to do to much because he is paired with Hanes, and it isnt helping.

Hanes should be released, no questions asked. The guy shows flashes of being a good defender, just to turn around and make an outlet pass right to the tape of the opposition, or blow coverage. If he was a young kid you work through that. Unfortunately that isnt what you demand of an O/A. I'd much rather see Gilbert and Stewart make those mistakes but get time to develop into better players, then spend those minutes on a guy who wont be back next year and is expected to be a leader.

They shoot all their shots from the perimeter. Okay, I can handle that. Only problem is they do it without any traffic on even one body driving to the net. You have a guy at each face off dot more or less standing there, while someone shoots from 40 feet away...yup, thats the key to success right there. The goalie directs the puck into the corner, and the wingers are caught flat footed, beat to the puck and its a 3-2 the other way.

I'm sure the 8 game road trip is wearing on them, but you have to give an honest effort every night. I have seen one game this season in which they all gave an honest effort and that was a nail bitter win over London, in which they were dominated all 3rd period long.

Time to shape up or ship out! Every single one of those guys needs to step it up a couple notches.

Further to my point, the Rangers have 17 goals through 8 games. The london Knights had 16 goals through their first two....

The top teams in the OHL are sitting at or above 30 goals.

If you don't think scoring is a problem im not sure what to say....

I'm not a big fan of Murphy being captain either. His time would be better spent trying to minimize the giveaways and turnovers instead of trying to lead this team. Geezz it's his 4th year and he is still a guy you can't afford to put on the ice protecting a one goal lead. Unfortunately, there aren't many better options. Very possible he's cut from the WJC a third time.

You're right about Hanes but I wouldn't stop there. I'd get rid of Alberga and Czinder as well. Neither has contributed much of anything, especially Czinder. On championship contenders, your OA's have to be some of your better players. Maybe that is a big reason why we are playing like a borderline playoff team. Can you imagine the impact that mirror images of Cat, Sol and Randell would have on this team right now? You'd have grit, leadership, heart, physicallity and all the rest of the things that this group is lacking right now.

To be honest, Ming and Meighan would provide everything and more that these two OA forwards are bringing now. These guys have to go and some quality has to be brought in.

Too many people are using the 8 game "road trip" as a crutch. It's not like they have been away for a month. They've been in their own beds most of the time. Actually, I haven't looked it up, but I bet they are the only team in the league who haven't had to play 3 in 3 or even 3 in a week. Going into the 1st 8 games, they had a pretty favorable schedule.
- Only two games a week.
- Only one game against a division rival.
- Most games were against teams picked to finish among the bottom half of the league.

Maybe it's about time to question Spott the GM. He hasn't done such a bang up job in that regard. His trades have been OK for the most part. But I question his judgment of the team and his penchant for not buying or selling when he should.

A quick run down:

2008-09- Missed playoffs. Expected. Nuff said

2009-10- Lost Game 7 to Windsor in the 3rd round after being up 3-0. Noboby really cared that much since the next year was to be our year and we really didn't expect to win much more than a game in that series anyway. However, Spott was quoted in Prospect Hockey Magazine as saying that he should have been a buyer at that deadline because you never know when you are going to lose your players unexpectedly. (Skinner and Morin the following year). He said he learned a lesson not going for it when you should. Did he learn anything? See 2011-12 below!

2010-11- 1st round upset at the hands of 6th place Plymouth. Probably the sole reason for this was Spott's refusal to pull Maxwell in favor of Morrison earlier in the series. The consensus among NHL scouts I talked to who covered the series was that the Rangers win no problem if Morrison starts the games. Spott had too much invested in Maxwell to bench him because he was what we got from Windsor in return for Timmins, Unice and Shutron. Spott basically married himself to Maxwell and wouldn't admit the obvious until in was too late.

This was also the year that we didn't get Skinner and Morin back from the pros. Spott moaned and groaned about that but what did he do at the deadline? Stand pat. He should have either bought or sold. When London didn't get Kane and Gagner back in 2007-08, they sold and they are still reaping the benefits from those deals (Mason and AJ Perry) to this day. If Spott decides to sell that year, he'd have gotten a huge return for high end OA's Akeson and Tipoff, and graduating goalie Maxwell who still held some value at the time.

2011-12- Totally blew it by failing to buy at the deadline. This was the year the Rangers should have gone for it. The Rangers were then 8th ranked team in the country at the time and pretty much owned the #1 ranked Knights all year (lost one game in regulation I believe). They were beaten by the Knights in the 3rd round after playing and feeling the effects of playing two of the west's most physical teams (OS and PLY). We had nothing left and no depth to go against London. Had Spott won the bidding war for Austin Watson, maybe he's the OHL playoff MVP as a Ranger. He did it all and did it against the Rangers. Spott was left after the deadline trying to explain away losing the Watson sweepstakes by insisting that his deal was better. Who was he offering the Petes? The guys who cleared waivers this year? Good thing Puempel asked to be dealt to the Rangers only. Otherwise. the Hunters likely outbid Spott again. Had Spott bought at the deadline, we maybe have an easier road to the 3rd round and are not as banged up as we were.

2012-13- This should be a career defining season for Spott. He has been trumpetting that this will be a special year for the Rangers. He isn't talking of going deep into the playoffs - he's talking Memorial Cup. Today he's standing around with a dumb look on his face wondering WTF!! At worst, a championship contending team should be 5-3, preferrably 6-2, after a soft 8 games on the road, going into the home opener. Instead, we are where we are. We are lucky to have the points we do have. Every single point we have was earned by the goaltenders. Nobody else. We only dominated in one game (at Sarnia) but ran into a hot goalie. We still had to depend on Gibson to win in a shootout!

Spott has a lot of work to do. IMO, we need a genuine replacement for Cody Sol, a genuine replacement for Catenacci's leadership, heart and scoring, and a genuine replacement for the toughness and scoring that Randell brought. That gets us back to where we were last year + Puempel.

Spott says that nobody wants to deal quality players this early. Owen Sound picked up OA d-man Nathan Chiarletti and he has become a leader and big part of their team. Their fans are raving about him. Spott? He was picking up Alberga at the time and later Hanes. Windsor was busy making room for OAer Derek Schonmakers by sending Nick Czinder here.

How does it make sense for Spott to expect that OA castoffs, from teams destined to finish much lower in the standings than we were expected to, will make any kind of impact on a championship team?

The way things are looking now....

-With Spott already having his excuses ready (the lockout is leaving CHL teams in limbo).
-With Spott stating he likes to get his deals done early (but is stating nobody wants to deal right now)
- With Spott screaming and bawling about the high prices paid at the deadline (but refusing sell when he should in order to acquire the assets needed for years when you want to buy).

........ I'd be surprised if we make it as far as we did in the post season last year, never mind actually challenging for a Memorial cup.

Last edited by EvenSteven: 10-16-2012 at 12:20 AM.
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